StarQuest contestants left the judges blown away with the amount of community talent. “There was a lot of good talent and people who could bring it.” Many South Los Angeles residents came out to participate in the annual StarQuest Singing Competition. StarQuest 4 Kids Singing Competition made kids go back and do their research on the classic Motown hits.                 Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel

This past weekend, contestants of all ages battled it out on stage at the annual StarQuest Singing Competition.

Vocalists came out to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, giving StarQuest judges a blast from the past with classic Motown hits from artists Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Jackson Five, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Miracles, Diana Ross, The Supremes, and more.

The StarQuest judges were amazed by both the local vocal talent and the overall turnout of this year’s competition. The Los Angeles Sentinel had the opportunity to speak with freelance writer Scott Galloway about his experience as a third time StarQuest judge.

“There was a lot of good talent and people who could bring it. I’m glad to [be able to] see this whole thing growing,” he said. “Judging wise, they have made it more focused … the contestants had to do a Motown song, which meant there was no dancing, just their talent.”

Music supervisor for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and soundtrack producer for “Greenleaf,” Angela Jollivette also spoke on her first time as a StarQuest judge.

StarQuest judges revisit the Motown era at the 2017 StarQuest Singing Competition.                            Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel

“I love seeing talent especially in the community. I was pleasantly surprised, because there were a couple of knock outs on the stage,” she said. “I love Motown, I grew up listening to it, and they are legendary. It’s hard to fulfill and replicate, but some people were able to pull that off [this weekend].”

After all of the contestants finished performing, the competition concluded with the tallying of votes to select nine finalists, which will be revealed the following week.

In mid-September, one contestant from each category was selected from the online competition and automatically received a place in the finals.

The 10 finalist from the StarQuest 4 Kids and the StarQuest adult competitions will be selected to perform their tribute to Motown live on the StarQuest Stage at the 2017 Taste of Soul Family Festival on Saturday, October 21st. Two grand prize winners will perform their tribute to Motown on one of the Taste of Soul radio partner stages – Radio FREE 102.3 KJLH or 94.7 The WAVE – on Saturday, October 21st. All grand prize winners will receive a cash prize.

Visit the Los Angeles Sentinel Facebook page to check out some of our StarQuest contestants perform.